Lieutenant Colonel John M. Lepry US Air Force (Ret) (1917-2003), a Warwick resident, flew 101 combat missions in a P-47 Thunderbolt over Italy, France and Germany in 1944 and 1945. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, five single action Air Medals and the Soldier’s Medal. He was born July 17, 1917 and graduated from […]
LT George S. Lima (1919-2011), a Tuskegee Airman, was born April 4, 1919, son of Cape Verdean immigrant parents who settled in Fall River. His father worked in a mill, while his mother and other family members ran a boarding house and a grocery store. When the Depression hit in the early 1930s, the family […]
A Westerly native, Low enlisted in the Rhode Island National Guard in 1936 and graduated from West Point in 1942.
Thomas MacLean (1932-2017) exceeded his wildest dreams by becoming a USAF F84 Thunderjet pilot right before the end of the Korean War. The Warwick native joined the RI Air National Guard, where he was active from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s.
Retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally hails from Warwick, and a Distinguished Graduate of the US Air Force Academy who became the first US female fighter pilot to fly combat missions, and the first woman to command an American fighter squadron.
Born in Providence, Perkins attended Mt. St. Charles Academy, played hockey and was the All-State football quarterback his senior year. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps three months before Pearl Harbor, earned his wings and shipped over to Italy. He flew B-17 bombers with the 353rd Bomb Squadron (Heavy), 301st Bomb Group. On January […]
Lieutenant Colonel Warren H. Smith, Jr. US Air Force (Ret ) (1920-2018 ) was born March 22, 1920 in Lincoln, RI, and lived in the house he was brought up in until his death in 2018. He attended Moses Brown School, Slater Junior High School and then Pawtucket High School. He went to Middlebury College […]
Riverside resident Roland E. Stumpff flew for more than 68 years. He was a WWII B-24 bomber pilot who participated in the dangerous raids on the Ploesti oil fields. On his 13th Ploesti mission his aircraft was hit by flak over the target and lost two engines. With a wounded copilot he nursed his B-24 […]
LT George Sutcliffe, USAF was born in North Providence and graduated from Mt. Pleasant High in 1940. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly after Pearl Harbor, and graduated from flight school in May 1943. Sutcliffe deployed to Europe with the 368th Fighter Group, flying the P47 Thunderbolt. Prior to D-Day, their mission was […]
So far we can document 15 Tuskegee Airmen from this state, three of whom died during their service: 2/LT William E. Hill of Narragansett Flight Officer William P. Armstrong of Providence 2/LT Walter S. Gladding of Providence The first black pilot from Rhode Island to graduate from the Tuskegee program was 2/LT William E. Hill […]
Retired Air Force Colonel Joseph Zinno designed, built and flew America’s first human-powered aircraft, and is a flying veteran of three wars (WWII, Korea and Vietnam).